Figurative Language In Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe is extremely successful in developing a new and distinct African English. The text which is written in English contains figurative language, such as proverbs, folktales, similes and metaphors from the African culture. Additionally, other writers feel since the novel is not written in Achebe’s native tongue, then it should not be considered an African novel. In Decolonizing the Mind, Thiong’o feels that language is viewed as communication and culture. So by Achebe writing in English he is losing part of his culture and background. However, many agree with Achebe as his African English helps American cultures with understanding the view of Africans and their way of life.
Achebe includes proverbs and folktales within Things Fall Apart that relate to the
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At points in the novel, Achebe distinguishes the people of Umuofia to a fire or an element of nature. For instance, “Okonkwo had been popularly known as “Roaring Flame” because of his quick temper and violent warlike way.” Okonkwo is being compared to fire which spreads quickly and causes destruction. During the matches, Achebe differentiates the crowd to thunder. The novel states, “The crowd burst into a thunderous roar.” The people of Umuofia were loud and cheering during the historical matches taking place like the sound of thundering during a storm. Often authors choose to personify folktales within their novel. On page 53 Achebe writes, “At last Vulture was sent to plead with Sky, and to soften his heart with a song of the suffering of the sons of me,” Achebe personifies Vulture and Sky as they do not have hearts and cannot talk. They were given human characteristics to provide details of the African culture during a drought. The folk tale explains how Sky is holding rain from Earth. During droughts, African cultures look forward to the rainy season as without it, their crops will not be able to

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